The Imaging Facility comprises:
The Microscope Laboratory contains a number of microscopes including a Nikon Optiphot 2 transmitted/reflected light microscope, and a Wild M5 transmitted light stereomicroscope with polarisers. Both microscopes are fitted with 35mm camera systems. It also contains a Linkam VTO232 heating-and-freezing stage for study of fluid inclusions and a dark-room. In the long term, this laboratory may also house the departmental Cathode Luminescence system.
The Imaging Laboratory contains both normal and advanced microscopes. Some of the latter are at the cutting edge of microscope technology and were acquired through a successful JIF bid in 2000, with added money from HEFCW.
For vitrinite reflectance, we have a JIF-funded Leica DMR transmitted/reflected (bright field) light microscope with polarisers, nomarski, and filter for vitrinite reflectance.
For fluorescence work, we have a JIF-funded Leica DML reflected fluorescent light microscope.
For studying wet samples in petri dishes, we have a JIF-funded Leica DMIRB inverted transmitted light microscope.
For stereoscopic studies, we have a JIF-funded Leica MZ12.5 stereomicroscope. In reflected light there is a choice of a twin fibre optic light source or a ring light, both with optional polarisers. There is also a transmitted light base with polarisers.
For standard examination of materials in transmitted and reflected light, we have a series of microscopes: an Olympus BX40 transmitted light microscope with phase contrast and 35mm camera system; an Olympus BX40 transmitted / reflected light microscope; an Olympus BH2 transmitted light microscope with nomarski and 35mm camera system; a Olympus BH2 transmitted / fluorescent light microscope with phase contrast and blue/green wavelength fluorescent light; an Olympus Vanox reflected light, dark field / bright field metallurgical microscope; and a Nikon optiphot transmitted / reflected light petrological microscope.
For photography, the laboratory contains two computer systems and four digital cameras which can be fitted to all microscopes, and has a Leica Aristophot for 35mm photography. Of the digital cameras, three are colour, one for low resolution, one for high resolution, and one for low light levels where fluorescence work is being carried out. The fourth camera is black and white, which can be used for high definition images.
For image analysis, there are two computer systems both fitted with Leica Qwin image processing and analysis software. Measurements of size, number, shape, position or orientation are possible. This can be done on images acquired using one of the digital cameras in the room or on images acquired elsewhere and imported from disk. Vitrinite reflectance measurements can be performed using this software and the DMR microscope in reflected light mode with a 546nm green filter fitted and using the black and white camera.
Both computer systems are also fitted with Leica IM 1000 which is an image database and archiving system for maintaining, searching, documenting and storing images and data. One of its features is the multifocus module, which allows a series of photographs to be taken at different levels, and then a composite image generated which only uses the sharpest part of each individual image. This is particularly useful when taking photographs on the stereomicroscope where the object is very 3-dimensional. There is also a measurement module that allows measurements and texts to be added to an image. Another feature is the image assembly module, which allows the creation of a composite image from several individual images.
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 76885
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 74310